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in new york. the pentagon is broken. what do we know about al qaeda? did we know that members of this network, all this information we take for granted now? >> we did not know that much. we did not know who was responsible for 9/11. we had a few assets that provided us some peripheral information. we did not know very much. it took a long time for us to be in a position to really learn what was going on. in march of 2002, we captured al zabeta. we recognized that we had to do something different. contrary to what some people are saying, he initially provided a couple of pieces of information. then he shut down. we knew they were coming after us in the second wave of attacks. we knew that they had a nuclear program. they had a biological weapons program. we thought we needed to do something different. that is when the enhanced interrogation program came into existence. he went through the program, started in august of 2002 for 20 days or so. a few weeks later we captured a major player. he was a go-between. this was the key to all of that. we forget that it was not just osama b
and put him in place in the pentagon. >> in terms of the way he answered various questions, i know you took issue with the tough question style of republican senators. is the white house pleased with how senator hagel answered questions? >> i believe he did a fine job. if you look, if you take all the news clips, not the whole performance, but the news clips that have dominated television report and on this, they have focused on a series of exchanges that i think, by any estimation, largely represent the injuring over issues like, why did you disagree with me over iraq? we are prepared to say that senator obama had a view on iraq. it was one of the reasons he ran on that position and one in 2008 against senator mccain. he vowed to end the war in iraq in a with a protected our national security interests. now, he is focused on winding down the war in afghanistan. someone bizarrely, and given that we have 56,000 americans in uniform in afghanistan, senators yesterday, in a hearing for the nomination of the secretary of defense asked very few questions about that active war. instead, they
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